Fractal Plastic

Ian Stocks

Fractal Plastic   by Ian Stocks

This composite image was created by duplicating a pattern that was formed as an accidental by-product of a process for slide mounting mites. The procedure uses a mounting medium called Hoyer’s, which starts out in liquid form, ‘trapped’ between the glass slide and a glass cover slip. It contracts as it dries, and the pattern shown here was formed by the residue left behind after the water evaporated from the medium. The dendritic, or highly branching, pattern is suggestive of a fractal. Fractal patterns are self-similar at different scales, essentially meaning that the same pattern emerges when examined under different magnifications; snowflakes and certain other crystals are examples of fractal patterns. Circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems, and tree branches themselves, are examples of biological fractal structures. Pure fractals are mathematical objects that repeat infinitely; the fractal structures seen in nature are models of these patterns. Image created in Adobe Photoshop, image captured by Leica DMLS compound microscope, 100x, with a Jenoptik ProgRes C5, 5mpixel digital camera attachment.

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